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Why is it so important for a woman to continue working at a professional level? This post makes some very important arguments…read on and share your opinion!
The day has begun. Early morning is a time to rush, to get all things ready for the children to leave for their school/college and for the husband to leave for work. Once the hustle bustle of people leaving the house is over, it’s time to move over to the menial yet important tasks of the house itself – getting the house in order, washing clothes etc. and then of course there is the daily task of buying essential items for the house.
So much work is packed in one single day in the life of a homemaker and yet sometimes there is a feeling that there is something that is missing. Having been on both sides of the fence; a working woman as well as a homemaker, I realize what is missing.
Being a working woman is much more stressful than being a homemaker – not because being a homemaker is easier but simply because there is an additional responsibility of workplace commitments and deadlines. Yet there is a sense of achievement when those very deadlines are met successfully and there is appreciation coming your way for it.
During my time as a working woman, I had my share of a successful career and have been through the rigmarole of deadlines, delegation and people management. For more than 10 years now, I have been a freelancer. Yet there are times, especially when I hear tales of achievements of an ex-colleague, a friend, or even a family member, that I wonder if I made the right decision of choosing to be a homemaker.
At some point in time, there is even a feeling of inadequacy – even though the choice of giving it all up was a voluntary one and not due to unfavourable circumstances or unfavourable people. This feeling of inadequacy, by the way has nothing to do with financial benefits. Simply put, it is just about one’s self esteem.
Suppose a kid is unwell at home, things have been a little stressful; the spouse is also traveling abroad and in the midst of such a stressful situation, the homemaker is still calm, goes about her chores as normally as possible and eventually things are in control. Likewise, there is a major deadline at work; there is staff shortage because of some illness or emergency at staff’s homes. But as a leader, the crisis has been handled well by convincing other staff to stay on and finish the work in exchange of leaves on some other day and thus the deadline has been met.
In both scenarios, a crisis situation was handled well; at the workplace there will be appreciation for the work done and in some cases, a written one too. But at the home front, it is just another day and a situation which women face the world over.
Similarly, when a new dish is tried and it comes out well and the entire family likes it, it is a very happy feeling. Yet it cannot be anywhere close to the feeling of standing in a room filled with some senior executives and you standing and giving a presentation and getting applauded at the end of it. Likewise, being able to bargain with the vegetable vendor for a few rupees can never make up for the positive feedback that you get when you are in a one to one with your subordinate.
This definitely is not about money. It is simply about self esteem, confidence levels, recognition and a sense of achievement. Knowing that one is a great homemaker, has everything in order in the house and maintains the house in a spick and span manner and being appreciated at work for getting the work done professionally and flawlessly are two different things. I would reiterate that this has got nothing to do with what anyone thinks of me. It is simply my own yearning for this kind of appreciation.
This also doesn’t mean that I value myself less because of not being a working woman. Not at all, yet I also know that every single achievement, no matter how big or small is a boost to my confidence.
The reason being that someone who is less educated than me too can excel in managing the home or bargaining with the vegetable vendor; the real test of my education, my knowledge and my efficiency is at managing things and people at my workplace because everybody at my level there is equally or better educated than me and surely I have to be different than them or do things differently to set myself apart and that is what is a challenge as well as a motivation.
And this is precisely the reason why women should continue doing something in a professional way, for as long as they can, despite their family responsibilities.
I could be having a decent bank balance and I could be taking enough holidays in a year, yet the sense of fulfilment that I have when my articles are appreciated and received well is altogether a different one, even if it doesn’t involve any monetary benefit.
Sometimes it is simply a matter of doing something worthwhile, something different and being recognised for it. It is always nice to hear that you are beautiful even if you know that you are.
Top image is a scene from the Tamil movie Kaatrin Mozhi that explores a related theme
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A homemaker, a freelance writer who loves to travel and has a passion for reading.
Very well written. You have expressed the real feelings in the right way.
I totally relate to it .. kudos for sharing your thoughts!
I really agree with you
I agree with you , but I think saying it is not about money is undervaluing the worth of financial independence. Having one’s own money makes a huge difference to one’s sense of security and self esteem. People also regard you with greater respect when you are earning your own money.
I totally agree. Whilst this is more about self esteem and self confidence, being able to earn an income too is definitely welcome. Its like the icing on the cake. I was just trying to point out that even if there is no income, only appreciation for the work done, it still is acceptable.
I have been a working mother as well as taking care of my three children and I found it too tasking. The day starts at 5.30am getting the kids ready for school, sending them to school and rushing to work and there was never a day I got to work on time. Then picking them from school in the afternoons, giving them lunch and sending them to the library so that they can have some activity and at the same time I know they are safe while I am at work. Evenings the same pick them and rush home to prepare dinner, spend time with their homework and put them to bed. Life was hectic but I am happy my children know I was there for them and they appreciate all I did. When my children were in secondary school I decided to retire and stay home and do everything I wanted to do. Bake a cake for tea.
It was so relaxing, I felt so free ,so happy.
Today the children have all left the nest and I look back and tell myself , if I ever had another chance I would just be a housewife.
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